What Was The Effect On China Of The Boxer Rebellion?

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The main consequence of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900-01 was that China was greatly weakened and controlled to an even greater extent by the western imperial powers.  Those empires did, however, decide as a result of the rebellion that attempting to make China a colony was probably a bad idea.

The rebellion itself was an uprising against those same western influences and specifically against the Christian religion.  This led to another important and tragic consequence, the genocide of more than a million Chinese Christians during the uprising.

The United States took part in the international effort to put down the rebellion, and this was the point at which the new American empire entered the competition for Asian trade, colonies and resources.  Secretary of State John Hay issued his Open Door Note "suggesting" that American commercial interests in China would be protected and nudging America's way into line next to (and ahead of) the other empires.

Japan also gained recognition for its military aid to the suppression effort and Russia gained some territory in Manchuria.

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The Boxer Rebellion broke out in China in 1900. A group of people in China was upset with the amount of Western and Japanese influence in China. They believed the amount of foreign influence was a threat to their way of life and was responsible for the poor economic conditions in which they lived. Thus, they began to attack and kill foreigners and to destroy property in an attempt to get them to leave China.

The United States was concerned about the Boxer Rebellion. We feared the Boxer Rebellion would encourage other colonial powers to try to take over China. We were worried that we would no longer be able to trade with China. The United States encouraged the colonial powers not to invade China but to accept Chinese reparations instead. China agreed to pay over $330 million to the foreign countries. China was banned from importing weapons for two years, and those who were connected with Boxer Rebellion would be punished. The Boxer Rebellion eventually led to the downfall of the Qing Dynasty. In 1912, the Republic of China was formed.

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thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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The implementation of the atrocious anti-foreign and anti-Christian policy by the then governor resulted in the genocide of Christians who denounced Confucianism, a philosophical and religious doctrine traditionally subscribed to by Chinese. Scores of victims including missionaries and followers from various Christian denominations succumbed to the anti-imperialists’ anger and hatred.

Economically, China stalled as a result of the hefty amount of money it had to part with as indemnity for all losses incurred during the uprising. China had to carry the indemnity burden for 39 years and spent money that would have been otherwise used for other development purposes. The indemnity in turn had a negative social impact on the society that felt disgruntled by the government’s move to increase taxes so as to meet the cost of the fine. In addition to that, the citizens of China were disgraced and angered the more by their defeat.

The boxer rebellion had several political impacts on China. First and foremost, the rebellion thwarted the plan by foreigners to partition China. Secondly, it hastened the process for reforms and revolution through overthrowing of the Qing government that was unable to rule China adequately.


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